Accessibility, as the UN defines it, means the ability to access data by all. Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are all designed and developed such that differently-abled individuals can easily use them.
As a concept, digital accessibility is not new, yet as companies move towards more sophisticated websites and apps, there is a risk for it to become less accessible. Designers and developers should remain mindful of digital accessibility and help brand teams recognize the importance, the need, and the benefits.
Here are some benefits that companies can realize by investing in digital accessibility:
1. Brand and company value enhancement
A web site or an online product is by far one of the most important online assets a company has. This is the place to showcase your values and include accessibility as one of them. A web-accessible web application (including website and portals) will reach well beyond the people who depend on that accessibility and give everyone who comes into contact with it the sense that your organization strives to be inclusive.
2. Cost advantage
Digitally accessible web applications (including websites and portals) are easy to use and usually have higher traffic. Ecommerce businesses and consumer goods companies may observe a noticeable growth in revenues. Accessibility can further save direct costs by reducing site maintenance, which lowers costs for maintaining the site, as well as reducing server load, which lowers the amount of server capacity and reduces server costs.
3. Staying effective and relevant
If the way you present your content cannot adapt, all your intricate design work is for naught. Many people choose to engage with accessibility features because they are easy to use and easy to understand. Accessibility ensures a wide range of people can effectively use websites and apps, helping brands' reach and relevance.
4. Improve organic search
Search engines utilize automated tools, called search engine spiders, to crawl, index, and rank pages within websites. Improving digital accessibility of webpages makes them more compatible with search engine spiders which intern drives better organic search rankings. Digital accessibility best practices produce sites, pages, and codes with better structure and text-based content for potential indexing by search engines.
5. New audience
According to WHO (World Health Organization) report, approx. 15% of the world’s population has a disability of some kind, of which 31% are sensitive to the need for digital accessibility. For businesses that are willing to serve ALL their customers, regardless of disability, there are untapped audiences awaiting them.
6. Competitive advantage
Digitally accessibility reduces risk, and as web-accessible websites are more SEO friendly, it significantly improves time to market, giving your brand a better edge over others. According to a Gartner report, being web-accessible can improve your TAM (Total Available Market) from 15% to 46%.
Being web-accessible today is crucial for an organization and its customers. Accessibility is an essential part of a digital world to provide equal opportunity to people with any limitations.
Talk to one of our specialists today for a workshop or a quick assessment report for your web application.
About the Authors
Sumit is AVP and Head of Creative/Usability engineering practice at Infogain. He has over 20+ years of industry experience in managing end to end-user experience and presales activities across organizations. Reach out to him on LinkedIn. Reach out to him on LinkedIn.
Rajni is Team lead at Infogain with expertise in providing accessible and cross-browser compatible solutions. She is passionate about technology and adopting a customer-centric strategy to drive positive business outcomes. Reach out to her on LinkedIn.